Budleigh’s Lester triumphant on home green

PUBLISHED: 09:11 30 May 2012

Local player Jackie Hardcastle is pictured competing is the Croquet Association May Week tournament at Budleigh this week. Photo by Simon. Ref exsp 9830-19-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Local player Jackie Hardcastle is pictured competing is the Croquet Association May Week tournament at Budleigh this week. Photo by Simon. Ref exsp 9830-19-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Budleigh Salterton Croquet welcomed sixteen players to take part in this year’s Spring Handicap Weekend, writes Charles Townshend.

The majority of players were locals, but visitors included enthusiasts from clubs in the South East and Midlands. Competitors were divided into four blocks with a mix of high and low handicap players so that on Saturday everybody had three games against the others in their block.

By Saturday evening Scylla Blackwell and Huw Rees had won all three of their games and from the other two blocks the two players on two wins who had beaten their nearest challenger went forward to the semi-finals on Sunday morning.

The first of the last four matches was between Scylla, a Budleigh member, and Huw, from Lym Valley club, and resulted in a narrow victory for Huw (+4).

The second semi-final saw two Budleigh players, Marie Lester and Mike Hammond, in conflict, with Marie winning by a healthy margin of 9 points.

The rest of the competitors were paired up for the two games on Sunday to decide the final order of results.

The final match was between Marie and Huw who shared their lawn with Scylla and Mike who were contesting third and fourth places. Spectators had the chance of seeing both games on Lawn six, (nearest to the clubhouse) with the alternate sets of colours that make this double-banking possible. There was plenty for the watchers to keep them entertained!

Both players in the final had plenty of chances, but when Huw failed to run the fourth hoop with his second ball he allowed Marie to establish a tidy break that gave her six hoops. In spite of his best efforts Huw was nine points down when time was called. Scylla and Mike also had their chances and after a tight game Scylla emerged as the victor and claimed third place.

Chris Donovan was managing a tournament for the first time and made an excellent job of keeping all players busy and happy. The kind weather, refreshments and excellent lawn conditions made the weekend a most successful one and Huw Rees left with his handicap reduced from 14 to 12 so we may well be seeing him back again soon.

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